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Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction$
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A. B. Bosworth and E. J. Baynham

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198152873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198152873.001.0001

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Artifice and Alexander History

Artifice and Alexander History

(p.263) 9 Artifice and Alexander History
Alexander the Great in Fact and Fiction

Elizabeth Carney

Oxford University Press

This book's sources for the reign of Alexander the Great of Macedon are full of set pieces, occasions in which the usually transparent ropes moving people and scenery about in ordinary narrative become evident. This chapter looks at two themes in Alexander history in which it is not so easy to draw the line between what happened and what did not, between the real and the significantly augmented event. It focuses on the series of anecdotes about the advice that Parmenio gave Alexander as well as the series of occasions on which Alexander isolated himself and the rest of the army, usually, then sought to persuade him to return. When one looks carefully at its constituent elements, the theme of Parmenio's advice proves more nuanced than has often been recognised. Parmenio is generally portrayed as rational, cautious, and fearful of risk-taking while Alexander is viewed as an impulsive, daring, and even fond of risks.

Keywords:   Alexander the Great, Macedon, history, Parmenio, artifice, Homer, Achilles

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